Keys, Keys, We’ve Got Keys


KeysOfTheKingdomI re-read Denver’s Orem talk on the priesthood again tonight. I picked up some clarifications about sealing powers (pages 35-37) but found myself struggling with his discussion of keys (pages 32-34). The printed version of the talk is a little different than the recorded version. (Might be less on Doug’s page.)

The Keys of the Kingdom

I remember this section specifically in the recorded version because it sounded like he was doing a little dance and jingling a ring of keys from his pocket or something. If you were there, tell me what he did. He said, “keys, keys, we’ve got keys,” in what sounded like a theatrical voice.

Discussion of Section 128

The thing that got me thinking and what I want to point out is his emphasis on items other than keys that he spoke about in this section. He mentioned dispensations, rights, honors, majesty, glory and “power of the priesthood.” And then he astounded me with this amazing quote:

Dispensations and Rights

“Now you tell me, you declare to me, what are your dispensations? (I have one, and Joseph had one, but do you have one also?) Tell me what your rights are. Can you even tell me what your keys are? […] You tell me what they are.” Who is he talking to here – you, me, the Brethren?

Understanding Keys is Important

“Stop proclaiming that you own them, and tell me in plainness so as to persuade us all they both matter to salvation and you understand them enough to explain exactly what they are!” […] If you got them and they affect salvation, you ought to understand them.” OK, that makes sense.

Honors, Majesty, Glory and Power

“If you trust you need to have them for salvation, then you should be able to explain them; because a man cannot be saved in ignorance, after all. […] Tell me what your honors are. Tell me what your majesty is. Tell me what your glory is. Tell me what the power of your priesthood is.

Keys Alone Are Not Sufficient

“Because if keys alone were sufficient, I rather think that Joseph Smith who understood what he was writing, would not have gone to the trouble of parsing through the words: dispensation, rights, keys, honors, majesty, glory and power, if it was all speaking to exactly the same thing.”

Denver Snuffer Claims a Dispensation

The subject of keys was introduced as he read section 128, verse 21. But did you catch what he said? Denver said he had a dispensation. I can barely explain what a dispensation is, or at least what I’ve been taught it is, and here Denver Snuffer claims he has been given a dispensation.

We Hardly Comprehend Things of God

Page 33: “You hardly comprehend the things of God. You simply do not know how great things God has done for us. You remain content to allow conceit and foolishness to lead you from error to error without any fear that you are losing your souls.” OK, now he’s really got my attention.

You Must Receive Revelation

Page 34: “…the things of God are not to be taken lightly. Nor are they given to you merely by study. You also must receive revelation in order to understand revelation. The scriptures are a launching point to take your mind upward. You must commune with God to understand the things of God.

The Institution Will Not Save Us

“No man, or committee or organization will ever save you. Nothing some financial institution managed by lawyers, bankers, managers, businessmen and professors offers will matter in the afterlife. The only things which will matter there will be what you secure for yourself from the Powers of Heaven while you live here.” Wow. He lays it on the line here, doesn’t he?

Denver Wants to Get Us Thinking

Before he leaves the subject of keys and launches into an amazing presentation on the various kinds of sealing powers, he says something that I know some people will find offensive. But I want you to consider it and tell me what you think. Is he being controversial here on purpose?

Temple Recommend Worthless at Judgment

“When the Judgment comes, you will not be able to hand a Temple Recommend to your … Judge and have him respect a mere man’s judgment of you. All that document proves objectively is that you paid money to the church. It is a receipt.” I’ve never looked at it like that, have you?

Dare to Ask How Tithing is Spent

“And you don’t even know what your money got used for, because you do not even dare to ask the question of your leaders about how the money was spent.” Wait a minute, we do know and they have told us. The money is used to build temples, meetinghouses and operating expenses.

Subjective Nature of Temple Questions

“For the rest of the Temple Recommend questions, they are merely subjective in nature and allow the vain, the misled and the blind to announce their purported ‘worthiness.’ All of that is a mirage which will pass away when you depart this life.” OK, good point. They are subjective.

Invitation to Dialog

Disclaimer: These are simply a few of my study notes as I try to understand things I deem to be important. I have obviously quoted the words of a man who has been cast out of our Church for teaching these and other similar things. I am not trying to teach them to you. I am not asking you to believe these statements. I simply want to discuss them in an effort to understand them better.

20 Responses

  1. “When the Judgment comes, you will not be able to hand a Temple Recommend to your … Judge and have him respect a mere man’s judgment of you. All that document proves objectively is that you paid money to the church. It is a receipt.”

    I thought D&C said that the leadership of the Church had the power of binding and loosing?

    How can DS believe that, if he believes what he says here?

    I admit to being confussed, and look forward to whatever comments others can offer.

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  2. Tim, I have studied DS extensively and I still don’t understand him. He is a master of accusation. He raises questions but rarely gives an answer. Is he deliberately obtuse, or is that just his nature? Please note that John Pontius claimed to receive all that DS has, and yet his blog is as sweet as can be. He never took a swing at the GA’s and died a very happy man, and in fact was unwilling to take a stance contrary to the GA’s. Snuffer has raised charges in PTHG on a historical basis for the church, but in my opinion makes error after error himself. He accuses leadership in making errors, that the church is drifting into apostasy, but I don’t think any of these charges in PTHG can be defended as definitive. For example, he claims that a fullness of Priesthood keys “may not” have been passed by JS to the 12. But, fails to convince me of what exactly that loss means. He claims that the Saints failure to complete the Nauvoo Temple “may” have caused the wrath of God to fall upon them, but doesn’t specify how that works exactly. He claims the dedication of the Salt Lake temple did not have spiritual manifestations attending, and yet ignores the written testimony of Wilford Woodruff that indeed it did. He claims that it “may” be true that no one among leadership has seen Jesus Christ since Joseph Smith, but how does he or can he possibly know this (where’s his evidence)? He claims that the interpretation of the word “Gentiles” in the BOM refers exclusively to the small band of LDS who have accepted the covenant. Yet if you actually read through every reference in the BOM on “Gentiles,” it is easy to see that the Lord is usually referring to the “Gentiles” who are outside of the covenant, not inside. This is evidenced by the context: many BOM passages don’t make sense otherwise because they speak of historical events preceding the restoration. He tries to excuse this lame interpretation by saying it doesn’t make sense that those that would not read the BOM would not be those the Lord is warning. Good point, unless you realize that the BOM is coming forth as a warning voice to all the world, and that only a tiny percent of the world will EVER read and heed it’s message, let alone take it seriously. He chides the leadership for not obtaining, and/or telling of their most spiritual experiences, but cannot possibly know what the Brethren have or have not received. Further, even if they have not received the greater things, so what? As long as men have the Gift of the Holy Ghost and are earnestly striving to follow it’s promptings, why is this not sufficient for the task? He criticizes the Brethren for claiming all priesthood keys, and implies that they don’t have a fullness of keys. But what if “fullness” in this context is exactly as we say “fullness of the gospel” means “sufficiency,” not “all there is to know?” I find every major claim in PTHG to be either an error in reasoning, or at the least, just one of several plausible explanations for why things are as they are. Further, after reading the book the second time, I prayed earnestly for enlightenment on DS, while I read it for the third time. I believe the Spirit did enlighten my mind as too the errors in PTHG, and warned me not to take DS too seriously. I must admit that I am not completely resolved as to his motives, and maybe it doesn’t really matter. I read his Second Comforter book, and I actually believe he did experience what he said he has. However, I think his own pride, hubris and foolishness drove him to write PTHG, so something has changed dramatically in his psychology. I do not condemn him, however, but I hope events will move him back into the church, because we need him there. The idea that common members of the church can have these higher things is a glorious thing, and I salute Snuffer for making this more real for each of us. At the same time, I do not think the modern church and leadership is off course in any crucial way. Does the church and leadership have it’s faults and failings–yes it does! Does leadership become a little vain now and again–welcome to the human condition! Is the Holy Ghost and it’s attendant gifts operating and functioning in the Church–Yes, they are, as every faithful member can attest. Do you think that God is capable of communicating with his servants, to make course corrections to the good ship Zion? I do. I know that all is not well in Zion, but I don’t think the problems are nearly as dire as DS thinks they are. My observation is that the Spirit and the gifts of the Spirit are MUCH more evident now then when I was a youngster. In general, the Saints are MUCH more faithful, and are being blessed to a much greater level than in previous generations. However, I am fully aware that many Saints are sleeping through things, so I don’t have rose-colored glasses. But I do believe that the Saints will continue to receive more and more as they qualify. Peace.

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    • Karl — I read all of your post! And my heart was filled, feeling God’s love for all his children! Thank you:)

      “Have patience with everything that remains unsolved in your heart. Try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books written in a foreign language. Do not now look for the answers. They cannot now be given to you because you could not live them. It is a question of experiencing everything. At present you need to live the question. Perhaps you will gradually, without even noticing it, find yourself experiencing the answer, some distant day.” (Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet)

      Are you open to discuss some of what you shared? Or would you rather leave your comments as a statement of truth? I’ve learned much from the discussion of others :)

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    • Until you figure out whether DS is a prophet or not, I think you will probably continue to not understand him. Don’t you agree that is the only question that matters? Don’t you agree that your interpretation of DS would significantly change IF you knew he was speaking as the Lord had directly commanded him?

      Regardless of Woodruff’s veracity in matters spiritual, there was no second witness to his alleged “theophany” in Salt Lake, therefore we do not receive it, just as we do not receive the reports of Lorenzo Snow’s theophany – for it is in the mouths of two or three witnesses that the truth of every word shall be established.

      You claim “He chides the leadership for not obtaining, and/or telling of their most spiritual experiences, but cannot possibly know what the Brethren have or have not received.”

      We have no reason to suppose a man has had any experiences when he speaks not of them – but some of them have spoken of them, and their experiences and knowledge apparently may not exceed your own, Karl. If Elder Dallin Oaks says he’s never experienced a burning in the bosom – and he has said that – well, he’d know. If President Boyd Packer can mention his testimony is no different than those borne in wards all over the world – and he has – well, he’d know. Others have been forthright as well – in our new manual, we find that President Joseph Fielding Smith had no theophany, and may not even have been born again, just as President Grant had no spiritual experiences until months after his call to the apostleship, and even so may not have been born again.

      How stating the facts can be seen as chiding seems to me to require malice at heart. And we all know why these things are relevant.

      D&C 107
      18 The power and authority of the higher, or Melchizedek Priesthood, is to hold the keys of all the spiritual blessings of the church—

      19 To have the privilege of receiving the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, to have the heavens opened unto them, to commune with the general assembly and church of the Firstborn, and to enjoy the communion and presence of God the Father, and Jesus the mediator of the new covenant.

      Without these things, a man has not got the power and authority of the Melchizedek priesthood, neither the keys of all the spiritual blessings of the Church. What does it mean if a man has not got the power and authority of the Melchizedek priesthood, and yet ascends to the presidency of this priesthood within the Church? What would it mean to call such an one a “prophet”? What do the words mean?

      Reading the experience of others, or the revelation given to them, can never give us a comprehensive view of our condition and true relation to God. Knowledge of these things can only be obtained by experience through the ordinances of God set forth for that purpose. Could you gaze into heaven five minutes, you would know more than you would by reading all that ever was written on the subject. – TPJS, p. 324

      How much does a man know if he has only read what is written on the subject, without experience in these things? Clearly – nothing.

      For those who have not yet received the gift of the Holy Ghost, and therefore do not know what they are talking about when they speak of this gift, these things mean nothing.

      For those of us who have received the Holy Ghost, and therefore understand the significance of the explications offered by the Brethren pertaining to their spiritual experiences, it is immediately clear that things are not quite as we have been led to believe from our youth up.

      Does this mean the Church is off-course? I don’t know that it could have been any different. It’s all in the scriptures, and the final outcome is described in JST Matthew 21.

      The Lord identifies us with the Gentiles throughout the scriptures. In the prophetic narrative, anything which transpires among the Gentiles after the Book of Mormon comes forth transpires among us.

      You say: “My observation is that the Spirit and the gifts of the Spirit are MUCH more evident now then when I was a youngster.”

      I would ask – have you personally seen these things?

      9 For behold, to one is given by the Spirit of God, that he may teach the word of wisdom;

      10 And to another, that he may teach the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;

      11 And to another, exceedingly great faith; and to another, the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;

      12 And again, to another, that he may work mighty miracles;

      13 And again, to another, that he may prophesy concerning all things;

      14 And again, to another, the beholding of angels and ministering spirits;

      15 And again, to another, all kinds of tongues;

      16 And again, to another, the interpretation of languages and of divers kinds of tongues.

      You have beheld all of these, and therefore know what you are talking about, as opposed to merely reporting rumors? Healings, mighty miracles, prophesy concerning all things, the beholding of angels and spirits, the ability to speak with tongues one has not learned, and the understanding of tongues one has not learned?

      After all:

      John 14:12
      12 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.

      You say: “I do not think the modern church and leadership is off course in any crucial way… I know that all is not well in Zion.” But this is self-contradictory.

      You say: “Is the Holy Ghost and it’s attendant gifts operating and functioning in the Church–Yes, they are, as every faithful member can attest.” If you spend time speaking to those of other religions, you will find the Holy Ghost and its attendant gifts operating and functioning outside the Church – indeed, maybe even to the same degree. That is a big problem.

      “In our interview with the President [of the United States], he interrogated us wherein we differed in our religion from the other religions of the day. Brother Joseph said we differed in mode of baptism, and the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands. We considered that all other considerations were contained in the gift of the Holy Ghost.”

      Let those who have ears to hear, hear.

      You say: “Do you think that God is capable of communicating with his servants, to make course corrections to the good ship Zion? I do.” God has all power – the real question, the one that gets to the heart of the matter, is this: “Do you know that God actually is communicating with his servants to make course corrections to the good ship Zion?” If you say yes, then I would be interested in knowing your firsthand experience which justifies your answer.

      That God may communicate some things at some times to his servants does not mean that he communicates all things at all times. Indeed – there is no guarantee that any particular decision made by anyone in the Church is from God. Men have their agency, after all, and Judas is a spectacular and pointed historical counterexample to the idea that whom God calls, God qualifies, or that God only calls the just and true to leadership positions.

      In any event, the careful reader will note that I have not taken a position on whether DS is a prophet. Even if he is false, however, the things he has brought up are far more complicated, and potentially not quite as complimentary towards us, than we may have any real idea.

      For me, when I see a man accuse another of evil intent of heart, I tend to not receive his witness. Discuss principles, ideas, and scriptures, but don’t judge the heart – for the Lord has said:

      3 Nephi 14
      1 And now it came to pass that when Jesus had spoken these words he turned again to the multitude, and did open his mouth unto them again, saying: Verily, verily, I say unto you, Judge not, that ye be not judged.

      2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged; and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.

      3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?

      4 Or how wilt thou say to thy brother: Let me pull the mote out of thine eye—and behold, a beam is in thine own eye?

      5 Thou hypocrite, first cast the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast the mote out of thy brother’s eye.

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    • Karl, where has Pontius claimed to receive the same blessings as Snuffer? In the “Triumph of Zion” which John published in 2010 He says, “In all, it took fifteen years of climbing the ladder of belief to arrive at what is, at least for me personally, the greatest gift I can receive while still a mortal, which is to finally stand in the presence of Christ and to personally request a place in the latter-day Zion. It is a joyful destination yet before me.” (Pg xv) Here brother Pontius said he was still waiting to receive Christ. Did he ever claim to have received the second comforter? On unblogmysoul Pontius stated “I also candidly give to Denver the benefit of any doubt that he may truly be called to say things that I am not. When I speak with him I feel the Spirit, I feel his goodness and his faith, and believe that he has seen what he claims. But for me and my house, we will stand in our Holy Places, and wait.” http://unblogmysoul.wordpress.com/2012/01/23/response-to-kyle/

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  3. Incidentally, there is something else. I have seen constant denunciations of Snuffer’s motivations – but I have to say that evil intent must first be imputed to him before it can be read from him. It is possible to read him without imputing evil motives to him, and if one does so, one does not get evil motives from him.

    Laman and Lemuel had the same problem with Nephi. Because Laman and Lemuel had never partaken of the fruit of the tree of life, they never experienced the mighty change of heart – they never became saints through the atonement of Christ, desiring no evil but to do good continually. Therefore, knowing nothing of the goodness of God, literally, they judge Nephi according to the wickedness of their own hearts – they imputed to Nephi motives that they understood, because those were their motives. As Lehi told Laman and Lemuel, they had interpreted Nephi all wrong.

    2 Nephi
    24 Rebel no more against your brother, whose views have been glorious, and who hath kept the commandments from the time that we left Jerusalem; and who hath been an instrument in the hands of God, in bringing us forth into the land of promise; for were it not for him, we must have perished with hunger in the wilderness; nevertheless, ye sought to take away his life; yea, and he hath suffered much sorrow because of you.

    25 And I exceedingly fear and tremble because of you, lest he shall suffer again; for behold, ye have accused him that he sought power and authority over you; but I know that he hath not sought for power nor authority over you, but he hath sought the glory of God, and your own eternal welfare.

    26 And ye have murmured because he hath been plain unto you. Ye say that he hath used sharpness; ye say that he hath been angry with you; but behold, his sharpness was the sharpness of the power of the word of God, which was in him; and that which ye call anger was the truth, according to that which is in God, which he could not restrain, manifesting boldly concerning your iniquities.

    27 And it must needs be that the power of God must be with him, even unto his commanding you that ye must obey. But behold, it was not he, but it was the Spirit of the Lord which was in him, which opened his mouth to utterance that he could not shut it.

    When the Savior calls the judgemental “hypocrites,” he means it literally.

    Reading 3 Nephi 14:1-5 again…

    3 Nephi 14
    1 And now it came to pass that when Jesus had spoken these words he turned again to the multitude, and did open his mouth unto them again, saying: Verily, verily, I say unto you, Judge not, that ye be not judged.

    2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged; and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.

    3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?

    4 Or how wilt thou say to thy brother: Let me pull the mote out of thine eye—and behold, a beam is in thine own eye?

    5 Thou hypocrite, first cast the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast the mote out of thy brother’s eye.

    The eye is a metaphor for the mind and heart. It can be understood by reference to 3 Nephi 13.

    3 Nephi 13
    22 The light of the body is the eye; if, therefore, thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.

    23 But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If, therefore, the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!

    One’s mind is either focused upon the glory of God and his service, or it is not; there is no middle ground. The light spoken of is a real thing, which the world knows nothing of. Inasmuch as you, the reader, have ever received a true revelation from God, and have felt the light, love, and warmth of the Spirit of God in your heart as you have had words or ideas impressed upon your mind, then you know something of the light spoken of. The effect of the atonement of Christ, in mortality, is at least in part intended to be that you are always filled with that light. After all:

    3 Nephi 28:11
    11 And the Holy Ghost beareth record of the Father and me; and the Father giveth the Holy Ghost unto the children of men, because of me.

    And there is no other word than light to cover that sensate experience.

    If one’s mind is single to the glory of God, one is filled with this light and love – and is given understanding from heaven, as opposed to judging others according to one’s own estimations, which judgement is nothing more than seeing in others the contents of one’s own heart, making one’s judgement a condemnation of oneself. Hence the Savior’s words:

    3 Nephi 14:2
    2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged; and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.

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    • Razor sharp commentary! There are things that individuals can not discern until after the trial of their faith. No one successfully navigates this path solely with a library card. First, comes the step, THEN the “comfort” necessary to keep stepping.

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  4. I did not even try to read everyone else’s responses. It made me too tired. LOL What I have found is DS is very blunt and to the point. I don’t know if what he says is true (fact by fact) but he definitely gets me thinking.

    Ever since I started reading his books, I have prayed more, felt the spirit more, and have been a better person, wanting to find out the mysteries of heaven for myself. The one thing here that did make me stop and think is what he said about temple recommends. Plainly stated, what he said is right. You can’t hand that recommend to the Savior someday and have it mean anything.

    Your actions, your heart, your feelings will be proof enough for him if you are worthy. I have known people who attended the temple and weren’t worthy at the time. I bet all of us can name at least one person who has done that.

    It’s going to be between you and the Savior someday and you’ll both know in that moment if you’re worthy to be in his presence. I’m sure there will be people who are offended by DS’s comment because they are not stopping to consider what he’s really saying. Every time I see someone’s “hot under the collar” comment, I think, the wicked take the truth to be hard. LOL

    I also don’t think you can compare DS to Pontius. They are different people, have had different experiences and have different paths they are to live. I would hate to think that DS was sent to declare “truths” and because we were afraid to think about it, like so many in past times with prophets and even the Savior, that we were left behind.
    Anyway, that is my two cents on your blog post.

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  5. Without reading any of the above responses, I’d like to share what I know:

    Keys are only authority in that they are knowledge.

    *********

    Doctrine and Covenants 84:19: And this greater priesthood administereth the gospel and holdeth the key of the mysteries of the kingdom, even the key of the knowledge of God.

    Luke 11:52: Woe unto you, lawyers! for ye have taken away the key of knowledge: ye entered not in yourselves, and them that were entering in ye hindered.

    Doctrine and Covenants 128:14: Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual. The first man is of the earth, earthy; the second man is the Lord from heaven. As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy; and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly. And as are the records on the earth in relation to your dead, which are truly made out, so also are the records in heaven. This, therefore, is the sealing and binding power, and, in one sense of the word, the keys of the kingdom, which consist in the key of knowledge.

    Doctrine and Covenants 128:11: Now the great and grand secret of the whole matter, and the summum bonum of the whole subject that is lying before us, consists in obtaining the powers of the Holy Priesthood. For him to whom these keys are given there is no difficulty in obtaining a knowledge of facts in relation to the salvation of the children of men, both as well for the dead as for the living.

    *********

    What was the whole focus of the events in the Garden? That Adam and Eve would gain knowledge. That they would have a key to unlock the fullness of life experience. That knowledge was the most powerful thing they could possibly possess. Satan had advantage over Eve in the garden (the ability to beguile her) because he had more knowledge than she did.

    Joseph Smith also used the word key in terms of knowledge (if I’m remembering correctly–I can’t find a source for this at the moment): in teaching how to understand revelation, he said the key was to ask yourself what question the revelation is answering. That stuck in my mind because his use of the word “key” was only in reference to knowledge, and not authority as it is used today.

    Joseph also taught that those who have more knowledge have more power:

    “A man is saved no faster than he gets knowledge, for if he does not get knowledge, he will be brought into captivity by some evil power in the other world, as evil spirits will have more knowledge, and consequently more power than many men who are on the earth. Hence it needs revelation to assist us, and give us knowledge of the things of God.” (History of the Church, 5:588.)

    Knowledge is power. “Key” is the way to express knowledge that brings power.

    And I can say, in my life, knowledge of the Truth–of Jesus, Himself–has been the key to unlocking the emotional and spiritual prison I’ve lived in for decades.

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    • Yea, it seems that often when I contemplate or think about keys, what comes to mind is the phrase from the Hymn “O My Father” (292); “…until the key of Knowlegde was restored…”, linking keys with gaining or receiving knowledge.
      Perhaps the most important key of the institutional church is the key to receive the ordnance of Confirmation and to “receive the Holy Ghost” (in accordance with the 4th Article of Faith), as the Holy Ghost is the main giver and teacher of knowledge and understanding, without which true understanding of the scriptures and of prophets is not possible, whether they be dead prophets (such as in the scriptures, or Church history), or living ones (whether they are in church administration, or simply people who testify of Christ per Numbers 11:29) .

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  6. Tim, you said, “Now you tell me, you declare to me, what are your dispensations? (I have one, and Joseph had one, but do you have one also?) Tell me what your rights are. Can you even tell me what your keys are? […] You tell me what they are.” Who is he talking to here – you, me, the Brethren?
    One step at a time … a shift in perspective, or all that follows won’t matter, and may not even make sense. Why is it Denver, can read, or use scriptures that we have read year, after year, after year and still not experience what he is experiencing? What does he see that we don’t see? What did Joseph see and experience that we don’t see? What was Christ trying to teach, that we just can’t wrap ourselves around? If fact, we disagree with the concepts so much that it moves us to pick up stones and scream crucify Him, crucify Him!
    All TRUE prophets do one thing…(they not only connect individuals with Father) they facilitate our ability to place ourselves in proper perspective, relationship and alignment with Deity. True prophets do NOT point to themselves – they, in essence say, stand where I am standing, understand what I am understanding, receive what I am receiving and then serve, administer, as I am serving. The same pattern…
    Now, having said that, we look at what DS is saying … but lets take one more detour.
    Taking another look at Joseph Smith. Our current paradigm suggests that we externalize everything; we displace our spirituality, our responsibility, our judgments and even our divinity. Yes, Zion is a city “out there.” Yes, the temple is a “sacred” building “out there.” But these are things that we need to reclaim first, internalize the experience, allow Christ the ability to come to us first so that we can then in turn transform this externalized mortal experience.
    How do we do this? We turn to the Prophet Joseph Smith, and we take him at his word, at his experience? We start asking questions? Has Christ ever come to restore or perfect a building, or an organization? No, you are His work and glory? Go with me for just a minute …
    What if those around Joseph could not see that they were God’s great work and glory, and in their inability to see “their dispensation, their rights, their keys, their honors, their majesty and glory, and the power of their priesthood.” Father (through Joseph) gave the people a church (lower law) and a temple (higher law) to work out their salvation, with an even higher law to come directly from Father when his children were ready.
    Yes, I completely agree that there is a physical Zion to be built, to be shared and experienced with others. But we have to go through this process first! We have to internalize this process, take responsibility, cleanse the inner vessel, allow Christ to come to His temple, and then with our new eyes, allow for and be led to Zion.
    So, what would it mean if we no longer looked at all that Joseph wrote, all the scriptures reveled to us by Joseph, even the endowment, as the administration of a church, or an organization an externalized experience (except after the fact, when Joseph relinquished and gave the people what they asked for) … but as a personal journal, a personal process which was very very personal and real for Joseph, and a template for the restoration of your own Temple (shifting your understanding from a “church,” to a “temple” a place for Christ to appear to … let alone opening doors for even greater things)? What if one were to read scriptures in the D&C specific to the building of the temple or establishing a “house”, as synonymous with you, you being the Temple of God.
    What if we see the endowment, ordinances and the “true order of prayer” not as going somewhere outside yourself, not simply as a study, sitting in a dark room watching a movie, but as 1) the externalized personal experience of Joseph, a man who used his keys to open the way for others to follow, to stand where he stood, to experience what he experienced and 2) your own map, your own template for that process.
    When an individual begins to make this shift within, NOT just to bring vain glory upon them self, or bring attention to themselves, not just to say look at me, but to reclaim the ownership, responsibility and hard work that is this process … then they can read scriptures they had read before and see them differently. They see (and experience) the marvelous work and a wonder that Father is doing. They begin to internalize and personalize and “liken” all scriptures (and endowment) to themselves. They receive their Holy Ghost, and then speaking with the tongue of angels begin anew. Then they can better understand things such as “their dispensation, their rights, their keys, their honors, their majesty and glory, and the power of their priesthood.” Once this mighty change has happened within, then and only then, can they, with proper perspective start to even be apart of the change that Father is about to do in the reorganization of His family. They will stand and assist in the completion of what Joseph began the last time he was on the earth.
    Yes, we need to take more seriously these things. We need to understand these things … but read all the scriptures you want, all the books you want, all the Snuffer talks you want, without allowing this perspective or shift to happen first…you will always see askew. As there is ascension, there is descending, “For instead of blessings, ye, by your own works, bring cursings, wrath, indignation, and judgments upon your own heads, by your follies, and by all your abominations, which you practice.”
    You are God’s might work and wonder! You belong to Him, and nothing will ever change that. Go to Him! Stand where Joseph stood, see what he saw, experience what he experienced…allow the endowment to be the pattern by which you experience, even manipulate (in the good sense of the word) mortality … and get Heaven’s attention.

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  7. DS is fascinating and I will reserve judgment about his character and motives until I attain further light and knowledge (keys?). I have, however, been thinking a lot about his commentary on dispensations. It is still a bit confusing to me, but I’m beginning to think he defines dispensation as the establishment of a close relationship between God and man. Not man in the plural sense, but man on an individual basis. If DS says he has his own dispensation, then I think what he’s saying is he has a real, personal relationship with God. Face-to-face kind of stuff, something more than a feeling. The LDS church, like other Christian faith systems, generally accepts the following traditional theological definitions of dispensation:

    a) the divine ordering of the affairs of the world;
    b) an appointment, arrangement, or favor, as by God; and
    c) a divinely appointed order or age: the old Mosaic, or Jewish, dispensation; the new gospel, or Christian, dispensation.

    We should also remember there are other definitions of dispensation:

    1) an act or instance of dispensing; distribution.
    2) something that is distributed or given out.

    Rather than looking at dispensation as applying to a time period or a collective swath of people, perhaps little old me, child of God, can have a dispensation. That is to say, a real, personal relationship with my Heavenly Father.

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    • I believe these things “dispensations, rights, honors, majesty, glory keys, and “powers of your priesthood”etc. are the names of things that commence after coming into direct contact with the Lord, and are the covenants or assignments of work for one to complete or engage in on the Lords behalf at his bidding . This is whats come to my mind as I ponder these things, any thoughts? Thanks. David

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      • David, yes, I could buy that. Some believe Joseph Smith was using lots of different words to describe the same thing. However, I can conceive the possibility that “dispensations, rights, honors, majesty, glory, keys” etc. are distinct and highly nuanced concepts.

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  8. As some have pointed out, it may be important to discern whether or not DS is on Father’s errand? Consider…

    How does one receive priesthood? What really is priesthood? To what degree must an individual experience Father in order to do the work of Father, be a “true messenger,” voice a true message, extend priesthood, keys, and covenants (in anticipation of their fulfillment)? Can an individual who has not experienced the fullness of the priesthood, extend or facilitate those blessings, covenants, priesthood, and / or keys to others?

    Did you catch what appears to be happening in the progression of DS’s talks? What is happening (see pgs 4-6 in the “Priesthood” talk)? What does it mean when someone is authorized to speak in the name of Father? What is the difference between someone who is authorized to perform an ordinance, to deliver a message, and / or extend a covenant vs one who “appears as an angel of light” or a deceiver? How does one discern a true messenger? How is priesthood from Father transferred?

    Ultimately … what is being extended as Denver speaks? And not a portion, remember, as he speaks he is no longer talking about the “two” priesthoods, but “therefore, all those who receive the priesthood, [notice now the reference is in the singular, implying it speaks now about the singular, fullest manifestation which comes from the Father]” (pg 5). As Denver uses his key(s), what doors are being opened for those who have ears to hear? What is once again being restored, offered by Father?

    What fruit might one expect to experience, if in fact DS is a true messenger? Where would one expect to see the fruit? If “keys” really are knowledge, what might one be expect to do with the transmission of priesthood and keys which appears to have taken place?

    Have I misunderstood? Thoughts?

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    • DS and ‘Dispensation’
      When DS mentioned a ‘message’ in the smoke on the cover of PTHG my son immediately looked at the cover and said there was the number ‘5’ in the smoke. Since the subject of the book discussed the four phases of LDS, I assume the ‘5’ means something is coming or may already be here. Just saying. It reminds me of Giliadi’s interpretation of the ‘great and marvelous work’.

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  9. I think you’re looking too hard. LOL If there is a five at all, it’s looks too vague to be sure. In my opinion, it’s just a picture of smoke. But that is just me. I think that sometimes people look too hard for some hidden message.

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    • Denver Snuffer had said there is a hidden message on each of the book covers with pictures. If not a 5 what is the hidden message? It is just interesting to consider that we may be in a new dispensation where the full gospel is going back to the real house of Israel.

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